PORT ROYAL – Residents of this 268-year-old town have no home delivery of mail, and that has become a problem in the digital age of doing business, notes Town Councilor Monica Chenault.
The Town Council discussed the issue Tuesday night and agreed to ask a Richmond-based representative of the U.S. Postal Service to attend its October meeting.
For decades, residents of this tiny historic town by the Rappahannock River have had to go to the local post office to collect their mail.
However, having a post office box is a problem when residents use the Internet to make a purchase. When they attempt to place an online order and give a post office box address, major companies such as Walmart and Amazon refuse to process the order. The companies require a physical street address for shipping purposes.
In a letter to 1st District Rep. Rob Wittman, Chenault explained that even the Postal Service has a conflict with its own system. She became aware of the conflict when she lodged a formal complaint with Postal Service.
“It was ironic that when I filed the report, at the completion of my report, the (Postal Service) customer service agent asked for my address,” wrote Chenault in her letter to Wittman. “ I gave him the PO Box. He replied, ‘We can’t accept a PO Box. We must have your street address.’ This was after I explained the nature of our Town’s problem to him!”
“According to USPS,” wrote Chenault, “residents of the Town of Port Royal do not exist.”
To make matters worse, noted Chenault, many companies have computer systems tied in with the Postal Service, so even when Port Royal residents provide their physical address, the companies reject them because the Postal Service does not recognize their physical address as valid.
So far, when attempting to buy supplies for her family business, 12 companies have rejected her physical address and her post office box, said Chenault.
Chenault is circulating a flyer asking Port Royal residents to go to www.USPS.com to see if their physical address is registered.
Port Royal residents “would love home delivery,” said Councilor Jim Heimbach.